Women should be at the heart of efforts to device and deploy lasting solutions to adapt to a changing climate
India, the largest among the democratic developing nations, has valiantly ratified the Paris Climate Agreement. With this, India has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP by 33 to 35 per cent before 2030 and to increase forest and tree cover to 33 per cent as a carbon sink.
Now the focus must shift to plan and implement processes and programmes to fulfil each target in the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) of India. We can accomplish these commitments only when we tap the knowledge, engagement and action of all segments, especially those of women.
Six impact areas of climate change have been identified. They are linked to agriculture, food security, health, water and energy resources, climate-induced migration and climate-related natural disasters.
“Lasting climate-smart policies need to ensure that women are not just considered as beneficiaries of smart climate actions but as entrepreneurs of clean energy technologies, as organic food producers-farmers and as local planners. They can reverse climate change impacts for the poor by leading from the front,” says Prema Gopalan, executive director, Swayam Shikshan Prayog— a Pune-based development organisation selected as one of the 13 winners for the United Nations Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activity Award.
As change makers, women are well placed to connect people and environment for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
To illustrate: Despite dramatic improvement in energy production over the last two decades, millions of households are yet to gain access to energy services or continue to suffer chronic shortages. Among the poor, women face the brunt of risks associated with climate change since they are primary managers of energy, water, food and essential services.
If we want to achieve our objectives, it is vital that women should be at the heart of efforts to device and deploy lasting solutions to adapt to a changing climate.
The pathway, from achieving targets to implementation, needs to involve all key stakeholders. Swayam Shikshan Prayog’s (SSP) scalable and replicable initiative connects all the vital dots: last mile rural women’s entrepreneurship network, awareness generation on clean energy technologies and access to products and services. By integrating women entrepreneurs with the clean energy technology supply chain, the Public-Private Partnership ecosystem in SSP’s initiative provides rural women improved access to technology, finance and markets.
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